France arrests two men 'who tried to join IS in Libya'

Tunisia police stand guard in front of the closed border between Tunisia and Libya in Ras Jdir on November 26, 2015 (AFP Photo/Fethi Nasri)

Paris (AFP) - Two French men arrested attempting to join Islamic State fighters in Libya via neighbouring Tunisia are now being held in Paris, a judicial source told AFP Monday.

The suspects, aged 19 and 20, who told authorities they were on their way to a training camp so they could fight in Syria, were arrested in southern Tunisia and flown to France on November 13, the day of the Paris attacks.

It is the first time French citizens have been held trying to join jihadists in Libya, where an IS affiliate group holds the city of Sirte, the hometown of the country's deposed leader Moamer Kadhafi.

The two men, one from Lyon and the other from the southern port of Marseille, did not know each other before meeting up in Tunisia, a source said.

The 20-year-old girlfriend of one of the men, a convert to Islam who authorities said had at one stage intended to join her partner in Libya, has also been charged with terrorist offences.

Tunisia closed its border with Libya for two weeks after an attack on a bus in which 12 presidential security officers were killed on November 24.

Security officials in the north African country believe that the jihadists who carried out the bloody attacks on the Bardo Museum in the capital Tunis in March, and on tourist hotels in Sousse in June, were trained in Libya.